Arundika now ready to testify

UPFA MP Arundika Fernando says he is ready to make a statement to the CID on the statement he made in parliament regarding the whereabouts of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda.

Fernando says he came across Eknaligoda in France in 2011 when he had gone to visit a friend and journalist Manjula Wediwardana. “When I was at Manjula’s house, a bald man came there. I was told that it was Prageeth Eknaligoda. I have now heard that he has moved to Britain from France. The government must now take measures to bring him back,” Fernando told The Sunday Leader.

The BBC Sinhala service had on Friday quoted Manjula Wediwardana as denying Fernando’s statement in parliament that Eknaligoda was at Wediwardana’s house.

Fernando however told The Sunday Leader he is ready to prove that Wediwardana had shown him Eknaligoda.

Asked why he did not inform the Sri Lankan Embassy in France when he saw Eknaligoda in 2011, Fernando said that there was no point as he could not be arrested. However he says he did inform some government authorities.

Meanwhile, Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda said she was surprised over the claims made by Fernando that her husband was safe and sound in France.

Mrs. Eknaligoda said that if the claims were true, then the government should locate him and bring him back to Sri Lanka.

“I am ready to help the government in whichever way possible to bring him back if this story is true,” she said. On an earlier occasion Chief Justice Mohan Peiris had told the UN Human Rights Council, before he was appointed Chief Justice, that the journalist was overseas. “Arundika is saying my husband is in France and Mohan Peiris had once said he is abroad. If they know where he is then they have every right to bring him back. They have the power to do that as well,” Sandhya Eknaligoda said.

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